NCAA passes significant transfer reforms, redshirt rule


Previously, that rule allowed players to obtain a medical redshirt if they played in four games or less than 30 percent of their games that season.

Nicholas Clark, a former football player at Coastal Carolina and a member of a student representative on the council, said the change promotes fairness and the well-being of college athletes.

"Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressured to play through the injuries. Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

"The membership showed today that it supports this significant change in transfer rules", said Justin Sell in a release, the chair of the Division I Transfer Working Group and South Dakota State AD.

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It will begin this fall, with the 2018 season, wiping away the need for schools to petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt if a player had already played in a game.

Currently, Division I student-athletes have five years to play four seasons. Then, other coaches are free to contact the player. Under previous rules, any participation in a game meant that a player's redshirt year, which offers them an extra year of competition at some point down the road, was used up.

The NCAA has made several attempts in recent years to change transfer rules, but this is the first to come up with something substantive - if not comprehensive. Schools would often block permission to conference opponents, rivals or programs that recruited prospects out of high school, which would often force student-athletes to transfer down to junior college before landing at their school of choice. The council adopted a process this week that will allow athletes to transfer to another school without seeking permission from their current school. In turn, the player's name will be added to a national "transfer database" which allows coaches from other programs to contact that player without restrictions. Conferences, however, can still put rules in play that forbid student-athletes from transferring within the conference without sitting out a year or some other stipulation. The proposal was initially tabled in April over concerns about timing, the number of games and potential application to other sports, according to a release by the NCAA. If he played in one more game, he would not have been eligible for a medical redshirt.